Ten Years of Healing Hearts with Adult Stem Cells

Bioethics   |   David Prentice, Ph.D.   |   Sep 16, 2011   |   10:59AM   |   Washington, DC

Prof. Dr. med. Bodo-Eckehard Strauer did his first clinical treatment using adult stem cell transplant for a heart patient on March 30, 2001, over ten years ago. Since that time, he and his team have treated hundreds of patients, have published a text on such heart treatments, and many other groups around the world have used adult stem cells for treatment of heart disease.

Now Prof. Dr. med. Strauer and his colleague, Prof. Dr. med. Gustav Steinhoff, have published a review of the field of adult stem cell therapy for heart:

10 Years of Intracoronary and Intramyocardial Bone Marrow Stem Cell Therapy of the Heart: From the Methodological Origin to Clinical Practice

The paper is published a State-of-the-Art Paper in Journal of the American College of Cardiology. It is far more than a historical overview. The paper discusses the rationale for use of adult stem cells to repair cardiac tissue, examines various routes of administration to the heart as well as possible mechanisms of action, documents the effectiveness in studies treating acute as well as chronic heart damage including chronic dilated cardiomyopathy, and provides perspectives for future studies to improve heart treatments. Regarding previous studies of adult stem cells for heart therapy, the authors note:

Thus, the therapeutic advantage clearly prevails, and clinical use has already been realized.

and point to the future

“Interest should be focused on adult stem cell projects that have already proven significant clinical efficacy, but without having any ethical concerns.”